Introducing Markham Shaw Pyle, JDI would like to inaugurate Saturn In Retrograde's new look by pointing you to one of my favorite critics. Markham Shaw Pyle is a former lawyer gone legit. He now specializes in military history and screenwriting and his reviews are both erudite and to the point. Here's a sample from his latest review, on Mary Anne Weaver's new book Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan:
Moreover, she clearly possesses the moral vision to realize, and to convey at once subtly and clearly, that the people – indeed, the peoples – of Pakistan: celebrated for their great traditions and talents: deserve better.
They deserve better than to have corrupt regimes in place that govern neither with their consent nor in their interest. They deserve better than to have their neighboring states surround them as in a deathwatch, impatient for a deadly inheritance. They deserve better than to have an intelligence and security service interfering in their lives without law or warrant, especially when it is deeply compromised by ties to radical Islamist movements and answerable to no one. They deserve better than to have no better choice for safety than the Army as their protection against national dissolution and the warlordism of rival claimants to the succession. They deserve better than to have their natural and environmental heritage raped by desert sheiks for a hefty bribe to their own corrupt elites. And they deserve better than to be a dumping ground for the terrorists bred by the corrupt and repressive regimes of the Arab Middle East, and better than to be made into an incubator of still more Islamist terror by having Saudi-funded madrassahs shoved down their throats just so the House of Saud can have a safety valve.
M. Shaw Pyle
By hitting the link, you'll be giving him a half-penny for his thoughts.